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Chicago-Born Queer Thoughts Gallery Closing In New York After Eleven Years
“Queer Thoughts, the New York gallery that boosted the careers of artists like Diamond Stingily, David Rappeneau, and Puppies Puppies, has officially closed, marking an end to the eleven-year run for the small, adventurous space,” reports ARTnews. “Diamond Stingily’s first New York show, held at Queer Thoughts in 2016, consisted of sculptures crafted from Kanekalon hair; her work is now on view at the Museum of Modern Art. David Rappeneau’s first-ever solo show, staged at Queer Thoughts in 2014, when it was still in Chicago, featured some of the warped drawings of young people for which he is now well-known; today, he shows with Gladstone Gallery, a much more blue-chip operation.”
Among others who “have shown with Queer Thoughts over the years are Paul P., Donna Huanca, Ser Serpas, Monica Majoli, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Megan Marrin, Jason Benson, Catherine Mulligan, Chelsea Culprit, Dean Sameshima and Mindy Rose Schwartz.”
Installations by Theaster Gates and James Little At Memphis Riverfront Park
A “public space on the banks of the Mississippi, which honors a Black skiff boat operator who saved thirty-two people from drowning, features work by Theaster Gates and James Little,” reports The Art Newspaper. “On thirty-one acres of prominent Memphis real estate bordering the Mississippi River, Tom Lee Park reopened on September 2 after a $61 million investment and six years of planning and work by the architectural firm Studio Gang and park designer Scape. Besides 1,000 new trees and a greatly enhanced landscape for people and pollinators, two new permanent public art installations by Theaster Gates and James Little are being unveiled—each aiming to create sites for the community to come together, in play and contemplation.”
Amazon Taps Champaign-Urbana For A. I. Research
A “center for artificial intelligence research will launch at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with the help of Amazon,” reports the Sun-Times.
DINING & DRINKING
Gina’s Italian Ice Closing After Forty-Six Years
“The Berwyn institution provided a community experience for generations of families and helped other businesses in the area,” reports Block Club. “‘It has been a pleasure serving you,’ Gina Tremonte, the shop’s owner, posted on Instagram. ‘I hope memories… make you smile as much as they do for me.'”
Sergio Correa New Executive Chef At Emily Hotel
The Emily Hotel in Chicago has brought on Chef Sergio Correa as executive chef to the hotel’s Fora and Selva restaurants. Latin American cuisine is one of Correa’s specialties, and “he often finds himself exploring pre-Hispanic recipes and techniques that date back 2,000 years.” Dan the Baker also joins The Emily to bake handmade seasonal pastries and breads at The Coffee Bar.
“SQUIRREL!?!”: Local Bushy-Tails Reap Rare Acorn Bounty
“Squirrels are doing backflips to celebrate the fact that oak trees have surprised them with a huge influx of acorns this fall,” observes Block Club. “From a squirrel’s perspective, a random surge of their favorite food has miraculously appeared just in time for them to stock up before it gets cold.”
The “Forgotten” Father Of Pumpkin Beer
Season’s reading: “Years before Starbucks turned pumpkin spice into a billion-dollar business, a rebellious photographer brought pumpkin beer to life,” quaffs The Hustle in a good report from 2020.
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Writers Celebrate Return Of Pencils
“Local writers say they’re ‘elated’ to get back to work with the monthslong [Writers Guild] strike’s end in sight, and that they hope the union’s success shows ‘solidarity works,'” reports the Sun-Times.
Video Game Strike Authorized By Actors’ Union
More Perfect Union reports (via Twitter) that SAG-AFTRA “has voted to authorize a strike against ten of the biggest video game companies. An overwhelming ninety-eight percent voted to authorize a strike. The union now has the authority to call a strike for video game voice actors, plus physical motion and stunt performers.”
Further Taylor Swift Showmanship: Doc Of Billions-Grossing Phenom Concert Tour Will Open In 100 Countries At Once
“AMC Theatres, which is releasing ‘Eras Tour’ in the United States via Variance Releasing, is handling the international distribution of the film,” tallies the Hollywood Reporter. (Variance is behind such phenomena as India’s “RRR.”) “AMC and its partners are working to reach agreements with movie theater operators representing more than 7,500 cinemas globally. ‘Eras Tour’ is already scheduled to play in more than 4,000 movie theaters in the United States, Canada and Mexico. AMC has confirmed that in Europe, the film will play at every Odeon Cinemas location.”
Florida School District: Remove Any And All Books With LGBTQ+ Characters
“Librarians in public schools in Charlotte County, Florida, were instructed by the school district superintendent to remove all books with LGBTQ characters or themes from school and classroom libraries,” reports Judd Legum at Popular Information.
South Carolina Dystopian Drama: Books Taken Out Of Students’ Hands In Classrooms
After Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” was barred at a Chapin, South Carolina school because students claimed the writing “made them ashamed to be White, violating a South Carolina proviso that forbids teachers from making students ‘feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress’ on account of their race,” the books were collected from students by a squad of teachers, reports the Washington Post in a 4,700-word report (free link). The AP teacher in question “decided the safest course was to teach examples of old AP exam questions for the rest of the semester… But her students still had copies of Coates’ book. So, on her first day back, five other English teachers… walked with her to first period.”
“At a regular English department meeting that morning, Wood’s colleagues had decided to gather the books on her behalf. They also wanted to collect the titles as speedily and professionally as possible… to minimize stress and awkwardness for Wood and her students. They figured more teachers would pick up the books more quickly. The five teachers lined up near the door as students filed in. Wood sat behind her desk… Once the last teen had sat down, Wood delivered three stilted sentences, screened and scrutinized by most of the English department in advance. Stripped of all possible controversy. ‘We will no longer be reading this book… We will be collecting it now. Please look at the Smart Board so that I can direct you to today’s lesson.'”
Northern Ireland Libraries Can No Longer Afford To Buy Books
“A funding shortfall means the country’s library service will operate with reduced hours, and is ‘unable to purchase new books or take requests at present,'” reports the Guardian. Chief executive Jim O’Hagan says that “the negative effects would reach ‘far beyond libraries,’ ‘causing long-term harm and damage at the intersection of library services with other priority areas such as education, health, social inclusion and societal wellbeing.'”
Charting The Progress Of American Book Bans
Axios has the links, with charts showing how fast the trend is growing: “As attempted book bans continue to surge in schools across the United States, the challenges are now increasingly extending to public libraries.”
Another Job Slash At New York Public Radio
Twelve percent of employees will be fired at New York Public Radio, reports the New York Times. “The chief executive of New York Public Radio, which operates WNYC and the classical music station WQXR, said the organization was facing a ‘free fall’ in advertising.”
USA TODAY Network Jumbling Comics Page
“The USA TODAY Network, of which we’re a part,” reports the Rockford Register Star, “is giving our comics page a fresh new look… Our new daily lineup will feature Blondie, Zits, Beetle Bailey, Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, Dennis the Menace, Garfield, Peanuts, For Better or For Worse, Baby Blues, Pickles, Pearls Before Swine, Jump Start, Ziggy, Marmaduke, Non Sequitur, Crabgrass, Crankshaft, Luann, Baldo, Frank & Ernest and Born Loser. If you’re counting, that’s twenty-two comics, two more than our current daily offering. Sundays’ Foxtrot will stay put, taking our Sunday comics from twenty-one to twenty-three… These changes are not just in Rockford. USA TODAY Network newspapers across the country will see similar changes, allowing us, as a network, to present a more unified and consistent comics package across all publications.”
“Merch Cuts” Decried
“Touring musicians say they rely on merch to make money, and most small venues don’t take a percentage of their sales. But one music director says merch cuts can help streamline high-volume sales at larger venues,” reports Block Club. “Merch cuts have existed for years at some venues, mostly at larger ones… Some show operators argue it’s a reality of running their business, especially when they’re handling huge volumes of merch for bands playing to thousands of people. But many musicians and bands, as well as owners of some of Chicago’s smaller venues, say merch cuts can border on predatory, especially as selling T-shirts and records at live shows are one of the few ways touring musicians can reliably make money.”
New Neo-Futurists Work
The Neo-Futurists present the Chicago premiere of “Spank Bank Time Machine,” an interactive comedy created and performed by John Michael and directed by Sammy Zeisel. Synopsis: “A Queer Fantasia Time Travel Adventure with Trauma Clown, John Michael: It’s ‘Angels in America’ meets ‘Snakes On A Plane’ but with DRUGS!” The show also “raises awareness about life-saving interventions such as Narcan/Naloxone.” The hourlong comedy plays the first two Thursdays and Saturdays in November at 7pm at the Neo-Futurarium. Tickets ($20) here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
DePaul Will Require I.D. To Enter Campus Buildings
“In response to the spike in crime on campus this fall and community concerns surrounding the lack of safety on university grounds, DePaul will begin requiring identification to access campus buildings” starting Monday, reports the DePaulia. “DePaul President Robert Manuel announced that all students, staff and faculty will be required to carry DePaul identification with them on both the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses and Public Safety will have the right to ask for identification at any time.”
Company In COVID Vaccine Snafu Now Fighting Over-The-Counter Narcan
“The company that bungled a massive order for COVID vaccine production is the same one that has fought to keep Narcan from being available over the counter,” reports the Washington Post. “The push to make the opioid overdose antidote easier to buy took five years, fueling worries about access and supply.”
COVID Outbreak Among Air Traffic Controllers Causes London Gatwick Flight Cuts
“Gatwick Airport will operate a daily 800-flight limit, partly because of an outbreak of COVID-19 within air traffic control,” reports AP (via Huffington Post). “Gatwick said around thirty percent of staff in the division within air traffic control are off sick for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19.”
The Case For, And Against, The Return Of Masks In Healthcare Settings
“This will be the first winter with COVID-19 that we’re not in a public health emergency. This leaves a lot of questions open for the front line, like hospitals, health departments, and nursing homes, including: Do we reinstate mandatory masking in hospitals this fall and winter?” posts epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina in a step-by-step analysis.
Multibillionaire JPMorgan Honcho Jamie Dimon Says It’s Time To Shut The Economy Down
“Jamie Dimon says Americans are on an economic ‘sugar high’—and he’s urging clients to batten down the hatches and prepare for rates to hit seven percent,” reports Fortune. “I would be cautious,” he said. “I think we are feeling pretty good because of all the monetary and fiscal stimulus, but it may be a little more of a sugar high.” Deficits, he claims, “‘can’t continue forever,’ and as policymakers continued to face this alongside an array of other serious issues—including the war in Ukraine and volatility in oil and gas markets—interest rates may need to go up even more than anticipated.”
Illinois Childcare Crisis As Fed Funds Finish
“Without the federal funds that saved the childcare sector during the pandemic, the industry risks collapse, policy experts say,” reports the Sun-Times.
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